Whitsunday Islands

Photo of Whitsunday Islands

About Whitsunday Islands

A dazzling collection of 74 islands set off the coast of Queensland, the Whitsunday Group are the stuff of dreams for beachgoers and outdoorsy explorers of all ages. Dotted amidst the bright blue waters of the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef, the islands are largely uninhabited; many are protected national parks, home to a vast array of birds and wildlife. Only seven of the islands are inhabited, and the best places to stay in the Whitsunday Islands range from simple campsites to gorgeous luxury resorts. There really is something for everyone in this tranquil wonderland!

Airlie Beach, on the mainland, is the springboard for most Whitsunday adventures. Hamilton Island is the most developed of the group, with its own airport, as well as a burgeoning array of shops and eateries. You’ll find a popular marina, too — it’s no surprise that the islands are a favourite of keen sailors. Long Island is another lively spot, with great hiking as well as water sports. Smaller islands include Daydream, Hayman, and Hook, the last of which offers excellent camping.

Spend your days swimming, sailing, snorkelling and diving amidst a marvellous underwater world home to more than 400 types of coral and countless fish. Kayaking, paddle boarding and jet skiing excursions are great fun, too. Thrill-seekers will adore taking to the skies for helicopter or small plane tours over picturesque Heart Reef and to beautiful Whitehaven Beach, famed for its 7km of pristine white sands. Most of the best places to stay in the Whitsunday Islands are perched on brilliant beaches of their own; you may choose to simply soak up the sunshine, unwind at the spa and tuck into gourmet cuisine in the privacy of your own ocean-facing villa.

The Best Places to Stay in the Whitsunday Islands

For Families

  • Daydream Island Resort and Spa is a big contemporary resort with a plethora of pools, restaurants, and watersports. Games and team challenges abound, there's a great kids' club, and outdoor cinema nights are fun for the whole family. A beautiful island escape with a family-friendly buzz.
  • Hayman Island Resort Island, on the outer edge of the Whitsunday group, has a magical feel, with pristine white sands surrounding the tiny island. Popular with romantic couples, the resort also boasts an excellent kids' club, swimming pools, multi-bedroom suites and adventures rangign from kayaking tours to snorkelling and sailing trips. The five bars and restaurants are brilliant. A luxury choice.
  • Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas, each with four bedrooms, sit within gated grounds close to the marina. Brilliant for keen sailors, these modern villas are also ideal for families or groups, who can book a private house complete with sitting room, kitchen, leafy gardens and balconies with dazzling views.

For Romantic Luxury

  • Qualia is a gorgeous luxury resort near the northern tip of Hamilton Island. Elegant suites boast uninterrupted ocean views, private pools and sink-into bathtubs, plus there's a serene spa and gourmet cuisine. A marvellous honeymoon escape, this adults-only paradise takes Whitsunday holidays to the next level.

For Great Value

  • Palm Bay Resort on Long Island, just off the mainland, offers 25 light, airy suites and villas, many with self-catering facilities. There's a lively restaruant, direct beach access and plenty of activities on land and water -- all at very reasonable rates. Book the whole place for a big group celebration.

For a holiday cottage or apartment

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Hamilton Island Airport, or to the larger Whitsunday Coast Airport and onwards to your hotel by ferry, private boat charter, helicopter or seaplane. Many resorts will be happy to arrange a transfer in advance.
  • Queensland is great for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • The Whitsunday Islands have two seasons: the warm, dry season — from April to September — and the hot, wet season, between October and March. Visit during the warm, dry season if you can, avoiding the school holidays for great hotel deals.

Still Not Sure?


Monthly Weather in Whitsunday Islands

Best Hotels in Whitsunday Islands

  • Palm Bay Resort Whitsunday Islands 25 rooms from £130

    Great walks  -  A Rainforest National Park, Long Island is criss-crossed with forested trails, perfect for keen bird watchers and adventurers
    Groups  -  The 25 suites and villas offer space for up to 60 guests - perfect for a group retreat or celebration with friends
    Active Holiday  -  A lively beach resort with outdoorsy activities including snorkelling, diving, swimming, canoeing & hiking
    Diving  -  Dive in the clear waters of the islands, where myriad fish and marine life zip between the coral
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsNo pets

    With a mesmerising location on Long Island in the heart of the Whitsundays, this resort offers luxurious self-catering accommodation in 25 suites & villas. Airy, white & blue interiors face the sea. There's also a lively restaurant, direct beach access & water sports as well as hiking trails. See More

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  • Daydream Island Resort and Spa Whitsundays, Whitsunday Islands 296 rooms from £140

    Hotel Entertainment  -  Gather on classic deckchairs with the whole family for great movies on the 44ft outdoor cinema screen, complete with snacks
    Other Activities  -  Trivia nights, Amazing Race team challenges and sports competitions aplenty are great fun for all ages
    Active Holiday  -  A fabulous activity-focused resort with games & competitions, water sports & a mini-golf course
    Families  -  Families will love the spacious suites, fun-filled kids' club and outdoor cinema nights
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    The very name of the island invites total relaxation, which is exactly what this big resort offers. Deluxe contemporary suites, three outdoor spas & a choice of restaurants encourage guests to unwind. A lively outdoor cinema, kids' club, team games & water sports galore are brilliant for all ages. See More

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  • Hayman Island Resort Whitsunday Islands 160 rooms from £390

    Kayaking  -  Travel around Blue Pearl Bay, Langford Island and Bali Hai by kayak, hopping into crsytal clear waters for magical snorkelling
    Families  -  A fabulous luxury resort with a kids' club, multi-bedroom suites with private pools & activities galore
    Beach Life  -  Beachfront bliss for romantics or families on beautiful Hayman Island in the Whitsundays
    Watersports  -  Guided jet ski adventures, kayaking tours and sailing trips will delight keen explorers
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Fodors

    This tiny private Whitsunday island is a tropical oasis of pristine white beaches & turquoise waters. The island's only resort offers luxurious rooms & suites with balconies or breathtaking sea views. Boasting 5 bars & restaurants, a serene spa & gorgeous beach, this is the ultimate place to unwind. See More

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  • Beach Club Whitsunday Islands 60 rooms from £454

    Beach Life  -  A buzzy beachfront hotel with dazzling views over the Coral Sea from white & blue bedrooms, plus an infinity pool & watersports
    Romantic Break  -  An adults-only escape for romantics eager to soak up sea views, stroll along the beach or unwind at the superb spa
    Sailing  -  Charter a yacht or catamaran from the nearby marina for sailing trips around the 74 islands of the Whitsundays
    Restaurant  -  Savour modern Australian cuisine at the Beach Club restaurant, which also promises gorgeous views
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A chic contemporary Beach Club, offering swish sea-facing guest rooms with Scandi-style pale wood furnishings, crisp white linens & deep blue accents. Amenities include a spa, infinity pool & modern Australian restaurant with cracking cocktail list. An adults-only favourite on Hamilton Island. See More

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  • Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Islands from £481

    Families  -  Four-bedroom villas are ideal for families, who can self-cater, whilst also being walking distance from the beach & shops
    Sailing  -  Take sailing lessons or arrange an excursion with the team at the nearby marina, touring the Whitsunday islands
    Active Holiday  -  Keen sailors will adore the proximity to the marina, and the chance to glide around the beautiful Whitsundays
    Diving  -  Dive or snorkel on the marvellous Great Barrier Reef, discovering a fascinating underwater world
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolViewsNo pets

    These luxury self-contained villas have breath-taking views towards the Whitsunday Islands. Each beachfront villa comes with four ensuite bedrooms, a kitchen and laundry facilities. In a gated community close to Hamilton Island marina, they're the ideal set up for families and larger groups. See More

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  • Qualia Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands 60 rooms from £560

    Golf  -  Hamilton Island Golf Club, on neighbouring Dent Island, was designed by Peter Thomson and will delight keen golfers
    Total relaxation  -  A beautifully relaxing resort, complete with a gorgeous spa, swimming pools & sea views for a blissful escape
    Honeymoons  -  A fabulous resort for luxury honeymoons with expansive sea-facing pavilions, gourmet fare & a serene spa
    Sailing  -  Brilliant for keen sailors, who can organise private charters through the Whitsundays
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Fodors, Mr & Mrs Smith

    A sophisticated resort with 60 stunning pavilions on 30 acres of grounds near Hamilton Island's northern tip. Elegant, understated interiors frame ocean views, with sink-into tubs, polished wooden floors & private pools. A sumptuous spa and gourmet dining complete the experience. An adult-only gem. See More

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  • Elysian Retreat Long Island, Whitsunday Islands 10 rooms from £692

    Honeymoons  -  A beautiful honeymoon hideaway with ten chic villas, plus a spa and gorgeous gourmet cuisine
    Sailing  -  Sail around the Whitsunday Islands on the retreat's rare Australian classic yacht Lady Enid
    Eco break  -  The first solar-powered resort in the Great Barrier Reef, with a strong green ethos
    Spa  -  Enjoy fabulous whole body skin therapies, massage, facials and reflexology at Jaya, the retreat's ayurvedic spa
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A gorgeous 10-villa retreat on 3 tranquil hectares of Long Island in the magical Whitsundays. Thatched villas with cosy double beds face the ocean; some have plunge pools. All share a mineral pool, Ayurvedic spa & organic, home-grown cuisine. The first solar-powered hotel on the Great Barrier Reef. See More

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